Women's Previews - Round 8
Eastern Mavericks (3-4, 6th) v Woodville Warriors (2-4, 7th)
Saturday May 26, 6.30pm at Adelaide Hills
The Eastern Mavericks will be hoping to continue their stunning turnaround when they host the Woodville Warriors.
The Mavericks, who only recently lost 21 straight games, have suddenly won three of four. They prevailed 69-62 on the road against Sturt last week. 406 days prior, the Mavs were on the losing end of a 25-97 scoreline against the same opponent.
The key to the turnaround has undoubtedly been Tess Madgen, who was in Sabre colours last year. The Mavs’ star had 29 points (her lowest since Round 1) and 12 rebounds against her former side.
Lauren Wright, the third best shooter in the league right now, had 13 points on 5/7 shooting. As a team, the Mavs won albeit with 13 extra turnovers, making up for it on the boards (40-24) and from the field (44%-33%).
The Warriors dropped their fourth straight in Round 7 to Norwood, going down 52-79, despite the best efforts of Katherine Perkas (11 points, 10 rebounds), Ingrid Richards (10 points, 4 assists) and Ashleigh White (10 points). The Warriors have now fallen to a season-low seventh on the league ladder.
The Warriors defeated the Mavs 87-59 in their last meeting up the hill, while winning their last battle 75-58 at St Clair.
However, the Mavs have put the ghost of last season behind them in recent weeks and Madgen should get them home again.
North Adelaide Rockets (4-2, 5th) v Central District Lions (6-1, 2nd)
Saturday May 26, 6.30pm at Hillcrest
In the joint Match of the Round, the North Adelaide Rockets will be playing for a fifth straight victory when they welcome the Central District Lions, winners of their last six.
These teams are identical in that they have each knocked off reigning champion Forestville by three points in the last two weeks. It was the Rockets’ turn last round, falling over the line in over-time 84-81.
Lauren Mansfield (18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, 4 assists), who scored the equaliser with 16 seconds left, and Jamie-Lee Peris (17 points, 15 rebounds) were outstanding. Shannon McKay scored 14 while Jo Hill produced 12 points and 7 rebounds despite being limited by foul-trouble.
The Lions’ sixth win came at the expense of South Adelaide. They won 70-46, with D’Lesha Lloyde (24 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) and Jess Mahony (17 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals) starring.
The Rockets struggled against the Lions last season, losing both matches comprehensively. Had they won at least one of the matches, the Lions’ quest for a finals appearance would have had to have waited for another season.
This match truly could go either way, although it is probably fair to say the Lions are due for a loss.
Norwood Flames (7-0, 1st) v West Adelaide Bearcats (1-6, 7th)
Saturday May 26, 6.30pm at Mars
The West Adelaide Bearcats have a near-impossible task ahead of them this Saturday when they travel to Mars to face the unbeaten and dominant Norwood Flames.
The Bearcats shot a woeful 21 per cent from the field in their Round 7 loss to Southern, with veteran Trudy Holland out of the line-up. Narelle Van Leuven finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds, while Amy Porter had 10 rebounds and 9 points.
The Flames continue to cruise, with their most recent scalp a road win over Woodville. And they did not need star forward Jess Foley either. Amy Lewis was on fire with 26 points, while Marisa Stabile (12 points, 12 rebounds) had her first career double-double.
The last time they met, the stakes were so much higher for both the Flames and the Bearcats. In the 2011 Second Semi Final, the Bearcats appeared to have the game sewn up a couple of times, but failed to take advantage. Foley was the hero from the foul-line in the second over-time. The Flames won both regular season matchups with the Bearcats last year.
The Bearcats’ last win over the Flames was June 27, 2010, and only the upset of the season would change this statistic.
Southern Tigers (5-2, 4th) v Forestville Eagles (5-2, 3rd)
Saturday May 26, 6.30pm at Morphett Vale
In the joint Match of the Round, the Southern Tigers will be aiming to push the Forestville Eagles out of the top three when the two sides meet at Morphett Vale.
As a team, the Tigers outrebounded the Bearcats 61-43. They have only been beaten on the boards once this season, against Norwood in Round 3.
The Eagles have now lost back-to-back games for the first time since Rounds 4-6 last season, after being beaten in over-time by North Adelaide. This was in spite of big games from Olivia Thompson (25 points, 21 rebounds), Georgia Minear (23 points) and Jess Fergus (21 points, 6 rebounds).
This game features two of the top four individual scorers in the league, with Thompson in second place (26 ppg) and Ciabattoni in fourth (22.1 ppg). Thompson is also the league’s top rebounder (15.1 rpg), while Simone Nelson is second (14.6 rpg). In addition, the Eagles’ Alex Duncan is top of the competition in assists with 7.7 per game and the Tigers’ Danelle Fawcett is fifth with 4 per game.
The Eagles swamped the Tigers the last time they were at Morphett Vale, winning 90-56. The Tigers won by two in the previous clash at Wayville.
It is highly unlikely the Eagles will lose three straight, but the Tigers have been playing some good basketball and are more than a chance in this one.
Sturt Sabres (1-6, 9th) v South Adelaide Panthers (0-7, 10th)
Saturday May 26, 6.30pm at Pasadena
The last time the Sturt Sabres hosted the South Adelaide Panthers, the Sabres were playing for a top-two finish, while the Panthers were battling for a spot in the five.
This time, they will each be trying to avoid being the league’s bottom club after eight games.
The winless Panthers have struggled to be alive by quarter-time, and this was no different in their loss to Centrals last week. They were down 11-27 after 10 minutes, eventually losing by 24.
The Sabres’ loss to the Mavericks last round was their sixth straight. Nathalie Chaloner (12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) and Amy Shaw (11 points) were statistically their best performers.
The Sabres won both meetings with the Panthers in 2011. They have not been on the wrong side of this head-to-head matchup since the opening Round of 2009 at Marion.
The Panthers results have been a little worse than the Sabres’ this season so will likely start underdogs, although they should see this as a good opportunity to break their duck.
By James Woite